Tag Archives: SoFlo

Free Thought Project Looks Silly After iPhone Hack Claim

Free Thought Project Looks Silly After iPhone Hack Claim

Conspiracy theory website, The Free Thought Project, got trolled by SoFlo when that notorious Facebook content thief posted his iPhone hack hoax. Not only did they fall for his hoax, they crowed about how “the FBI looks silly now”. Well, it looks like they will have to eat crow now!

 

The Free Thought Project Thinks The FBI Is Silly

We debunked SoFlo’s hoax back on March 6, 2016 –  BEFORE The Free Thought Project posted their piece on the “SoFlo iPhone hack”. We not only posted a debunking video, we also posted a proof video, which we shared on SoFlo’s YouTube and Facebook posts, and as many places as we could. Check them out here :

Yet, Matt Agorist, who calls himself “an independent journalist… (who) has been featured in mainstream networks around the world“, did not bother to verify the claim before posting his piece. Instead, he jumped on it as evidence that the FBI was pretending to have trouble cracking Apple iOS’s built-in encryption. He even crowed about it, calling the FBI “silly“. Take a look for yourself :

If Matt had only done a quick Google or YouTube search, he would have found our debunking article or videos in less than 5 seconds. But no, an experienced “journalist” like Matt Agorist has no need to fact-check.

I suppose he was trained in the “I will just wing it on my gut feelings!” School of Journalism, or “Trust your feelings…” College of Journalism. Guess who looks silly now?

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The SoFlo iPhone Hack Debunked

Let us give Matt and the Free Thought Project a short briefing on the fake SoFlo iPhone hack. For the full details, you can read our two-page article here.

  1. The fake SoFlo iPhone hack was based on a flawed demonstration of the iOS 9 Siri bug from September 16, 2015. It would never have worked the way he demonstrated it.
  2. That iOS 9 bug required Siri to be enabled. If Siri is disabled, the bug cannot be exploited and is completely irrelevant.
  3. A successful exploit of the Siri bug only allowed access to the Contact List and Photo Library. It did not allowed access to the Home screen, or other areas of the iPhone.
  4. The iOS 9 Siri bug was fixed a week later, on September 23, 2015.
  5. By the time the San Bernardino attack happened on December 2, 2015, iOS 9 had already been patched 3 times. Either one of those 3 patches would have closed the iOS 9 bug.
  6. The iPhone 5c used by the San Bernardino shooter, Syed Rizwan Farook, is the same model we used in our proof video. Once it’s patched, it’s impossible to get in using the bug exploit.

Perhaps Matt or the Free Through Project will retract his article, or post a correction? Nah, we didn’t think so. Conspiracy theorists are never wrong. Their mistakes are really just another conspiracy to shut them up.

Incidentally, while disproving the SoFlo iPhone unlocking hoax, we stumbled upon a Clock Share security bug in iOS 9.2.1, which could be used to bypass the iOS device’s passcode or Touch ID. We, of course, reported it to Apple and it was fixed in iOS 9.3.

 

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SoFlo iPhone Unlocking Hoax Debunked

A video published by SoFlo (Antonio Lievano), a notorious Facebook content thief, has gone viral after it mocked the FBI for not knowing how to gain entry into a locked iPhone. In the video, SoFloAntonio demonstrated how anyone can gain entry into a locked Apple iPhone without knowing the password. We will debunk the SoFlo iPhone unlocking video, and show you how he scammed you.

Updated @ 2016-03-07 : Added a proof video demonstrating that the hack is a hoax on two different Apple iPhones, and added a page detailing the Siri bug that the hoax is based on, as well as its relevance to the FBI.

Updated @ 2016-03-10 : SoFlo Antonio removed his video suddenly at around 12:50 AM (GMT+8), wiping out millions of views and over a million shares. We also added a new “Touch ID & Assistive Touch” section in Page 2.

Updated @ 2016-03-11 : It appears that the video is now up again, but shifted to the official SoFlo account, instead of SoFlo Antonio’s account. It’s amazing how much power Facebook gives SoFlo.

 

Debunking The SoFlo iPhone Unlocking Hoax

SoFlo / Antonio Lievano used a common magician’s trick to fool you into thinking he actually unlocked an Apple iPhone without knowing the passcode – misdirection.

To figure out how he did it, you must first understand that you do NOT actually need to key in the passcode to get into an Apple iPhone, particularly if it is your own iPhone. All you really need is an Apple iPhone with the Touch ID fingerprint recognition feature (first introduced in the Apple iPhone 5s). 😀

Watch this video that we specially prepared to show you how and where he misdirected you into thinking he found an easy way to get past the iPhone’s passcode security :

So now you know how he tricked you. He didn’t do anything but activate the iPhone’s Touch ID right at the start. This allowed him to access the Photos app and get out into the Home screen.

If you disable Touch ID, or just press on the Home button with the end of a pen, you will NEVER get into the Photos app, or out into the Home screen. In fact, you will not even be able to share the “soflo” clock you created (0:37 in the video).

His mocking of the FBI, however, was a marketing masterstroke. It got all of you to share and make his fake video viral. Who doesn’t want to show the world how stupid the FBI really is? So you share it out without thinking twice. Now who looks like the idiot here? 😀

Instead of sharing his FAKE video, why not share our video instead? We guarantee you will look SMARTER than your friends who shared SoFlo’s video! 😀

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Our Debunking Proof Video New!

Ever since we posted the debunking video, we received claims by a number of people who claimed to have successfully performed the hack. Some even questioned whether we tested it out before claiming SoFlo was trolling us with another hoax. Let us address that once and for all.

First of all, we fully tested and investigated his methodology before we even spent time creating the video. That’s why it took us a while to create our video after the SoFlo video was flagged to us for investigation. Even then, we continued to try on the two Apple iPhones we have here, to no avail. We even enlisted our friends to test their iPhones.

But as they say – talk is cheap. In this video, we will show you what we have been doing using the Apple iPhone 6 and Apple iPhone 5C (internally the same as the Apple iPhone 5). We will also show you how it is only possible to replicate SoFlo’s “hack” using Touch ID. Check it out…

Please note that we are not saying that those who successfully followed SoFlo’s “hack” are liars. In fact, we will now explain to you how some people are successfully doing it, and why SoFlo’s method is still wrong.

This explanation is a bit long, so we have to shift it to the second page. Head on over if you are interested to learn more about why the SoFlo iPhone unlocking hack is a hoax.

Next Page > iOS 9 Siri Bug, Relevance To The FBI

 

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iOS 9 Siri Bug

The source of SoFlo’s iPhone unlocking hack is really the iOS 9 Siri bug that was revealed right after iOS 9 was released on September 16, 2015. Here are the steps to exploit that bug :

  • [adrotate banner=”4″]In the Lock screen, key in an incorrect passcode a few times.
  • On the last attempt, invoke Siri immediately.
  • Ask Siri for the time, and click to add a new Clock.
  • Type in a random word in the Choose a City search field.
  • Select the random word and Share it as a Message.
  • Once in the Message app, you can access the entire Photo Library.
  • You can also select Create New Contact to access the Contact List.

Note the initial step of keying in an incorrect passcode a few times. It is this initial step that is (likely) allowing some users to successfully replicate the exploit. SoFlo did not mention that in his video. So even if we assume he was using an iOS 9 device, how did he even exploit the bug?

More importantly, the iOS 9 Siri bug only allows you to access the device’s Photo Library and Contact List. It does NOT allow you to go to the Home screen, and basically access the device in its entirety. Yet SoFlo demonstrated that his hack allows him to access the Home screen. How is that possible?

The simplest explanation is that SoFlo didn’t actually hack the iPhone. As we demonstrated in our proof video, triggering Touch ID is the only guaranteed way to properly replicate everything he did.

 

Touch ID & Assistive Touch New!

If you watch our proof video carefully, you will note that we not only used the pen to trigger Siri, we also used it to get out to the Home screen. This is because Touch ID is active AT ALL TIMES. In one instance, we chose to use the Assistive Touch shortcut, instead of the physical Home button. We did this to avoid activating Touch ID.

In other words, those of you who may have taken the precaution of calling Siri using a pen, or with your finger covered with cloth, may have activated Touch ID anyway when you pressed on the Home button later in the “hack”. To be sure you are not activating Touch ID, either disable it completely, or use a pen to press on the Home button at all times, or use Assistive Touch.

 

Relevance To The FBI

SoFlo’s mocking of the FBI is deliberately designed to trick you into making his hoax video go viral. Who would pass up a chance to thumb their noses at the FBI? 😀

But let’s consider the likelihood that the iOS 9 Siri bug would be of any use to the FBI, in their efforts to gain access into the Apple iPhone 5C (the same model we used in our proof video) used by one of the two shooters in the 2015 San Bernardino attack.

This bug was fixed in iOS 9.0.1, released just one week later on September 23, 2015. The San Bernardino attack happened on December 2, 2015. It is more than likely that the Apple iPhone 5C used had already been patched. By December 2, Apple had already released 2 minor updates and one major update :

  • iOS 9.0.1 – September 23, 2015
  • iOS 9.0.2 – September 30, 2015
  • iOS 9.1 – October 21, 2015

We do not have any information on the exact iOS version the San Bernardino iPhone 5C is using. But considering the efforts the FBI have gone into forcing Apple into installing an exploit to gain access to that device, it has likely been patched against the iOS 9 Siri bug. Needless to say, the exploit will not work if Siri was disabled.

Incidentally, if SoFlo actually discovered an exploit that actually unlocked an iPhone without the passcode or Touch ID, he would have taken it to the FBI. The publicity he would have earned from that act would be worth far, FAR more than spreading a viral video.

Think about it.

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